If you're thinking about doing a digital detox, bravo! Powering down and unplugging for even a short amount of time can greatly improve your psyche, your relationships and even your sleep. There are countless articles about how to detox (like here, here and here), but you have to plug back in at some point if you want to still function in the real world. As someone who recently vowed to take a seven-day social media diet, I was surprised to learn that plugging back in can be even harder than unplugging because the urge to overdo it and play catch-up is so great. So, to help you re-acclimate after your purge, here are four tips to getting back into the tech groove without binging:
1. Have a Plan
You need a plan to mindfully implement tech back into your life after a detox to prevent yourself from falling back into old patterns and habits -- or worse, binge. Think of it like a juice cleanse: You cleanse for a few days and then slowly reintroduce healthy foods when you're done. The same thing goes for technology. Whether you're going cold turkey and not engaging in any sort of tech or just getting off social media for week, you should set rules, goals and guidelines for how to use it responsibly later. Don't just jump back in the tech pool with both feet. Try no phones at bedtime or mealtime. Even things like checking Twitter or Instagram only when you're on the subway or on your lunch break will help keep you from overdoing it.
2. Map Your Apps
All of your favorite and most time-consuming apps are likely front and center on your phone or tablet. My iPhone home screen is laden with techy temptation. It's hard to resist checking Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, email and text messages when they're all in a row and staring you in the face. During your detox, move those apps to a different page or folder so your phone is less enticing (and when you're done, don't move them back). The less accessible they are, the more mindful you should be when you're deciding whether or not you really need to see what Kim Kardashian is tweeting.
3. Remove Temptation
It's silly to think you can conduct business and keep in touch with people without technology in this day and age. Of course you need your phone, computer and tablet for certain things. And, why shouldn't you? Technology is awesome. But, for those times that you really don't need them, don't bring them. Seems simple, right? Leave your phone in the car or your purse if you're out to dinner or going to the movies. Charge them in another room while you're hanging out with friends or spending time with your kids. The more you remove yourself from your devices, the more you realize that, despite what you thought, you can successfully handle being away from them.
4. Call In Tech Support
After a digital detox you definitely need tech support -- and I'm not talking about the IT guy at your office. One of the easiest ways to be aware of how much you're using technology is to make yourself accountable. Tell your nearest and dearest (or even your Facebook friends) that you're trying to unplug from your devices more often. Being accountable to a friend or a slew of followers who will call you out when you slip up might make you think twice before you tweet.
Follow Caitlyn Becker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@caitlynbecker